I don’t think the birds know.
Grackles,
Cowbirds,
Red-Winged Blackbirds,
Harris Sparrows,
White-Crowned Sparrows,
a Woodpecker,
two Bluejays
glean the corn and milo and sunflower seed
from the ground
where I scattered it
again
this morning.
A strong, unseasonably cold north wind
ruffles their feathers
as they peck.
They don’t know
of the Boston Marathon bombing.
They don’t know
about the anhydrous ammonia plant
explosion
in West, Texas.
They don’t know
about the heavy rains and flooding
in Chicago
or the tornadoes last night
in southwest Oklahoma.
The Barn Swallows
which have arrived
and are flying constantly
just above the water
in the Big Pond
catching bugs,
don’t know.
It is not their job
to know.
It is their job
to catch bugs,
produce baby birds.
Their job is critical—
part of a web of life
that affects every living one
in that web,
including humans.
It is our particular job
to know—
to notice them,
to not interfere with their job,
to celebrate all
life on this planet.
If we are noticing
all life
deeply enough—
deeply enough
to celebrate it—
perhaps we will understand
its broken systems.
If we are noticing
all life deeply enough
to celebrate it,
perhaps we will want to make the changes
needed
so that all can thrive.
On this 43rd celebration
of life on this planet,
on Earth Day,
may we look
deeply,
take delight,
dedicate ourselves to practices that promote a healthy planet,
and dance.
Not that the birds will know—
or will they?
Maybe some Earth Day
there will be enough food
for the birds.

(Join us at Turtle Rock Farm
for our Earth Day celebration
Saturday, 20 April, at 1 p.m.)